Oct 20, 2020

Bitter truth about sweet sugar imports Featured

Although a kilo of sugar is supposed to sell at Rs. 85 after the removal of tax from Oct. 14, it is still being sold at Rs. 125 in wholesale markets, 'Sri Lanka Mirror' learns.

Upon inquiring from Mr. Parakum Abeysekera, the president of the Sri Lanka Sugar Importers Association, he said that before the tax concession was introduced, stocks of sugar would be released after paying a levy of Rs. 45 per kilo. Stocks currently in warehouses are stocks released in this manner and selling them below Rs. 85 would incur a huge loss to importers, he added.

According to market sources, 11 out of 12 sugar importers had not gained the benefit of the abrupt tax removal. Due to a rumor that there would be a sugar shortage in the Indian market, importers had brought in large stocks and got them released after paying tax.

However, it is said that the well known importer - Pyramid Wilmar (Pvt) Ltd, has taken advantage of this.
Unlike other importers, Pyramid Wilmar has bonded warehouses, which are buildings or other secured areas in  which dutiable goods may be stored until stocks are released after paying duty.

It is reported that the company has had 8,000 MT of imported sugar in their bonded warehouses, which they had released after the taxes were removed, paying only 25 cents per kilo.
Pyramid Wilmar is also a major importer of palm oil to Sri Lanka.